Museum open Wed–Mon, Sea Center open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Library & Archives

While we reshelve items following significant infrastructure improvements and repairs, the Library is closed to walk-ins. We expect to reopen to the public in fall 2024. 

Our historic tile roof has been meticulously repaired. New energy-efficient HVAC systems are now providing humidity control to protect our archive collections, and the historic reading room now has air conditioning and improved heating. We have new shelving in our behind-the-scenes stacks. We greatly appreciate your patience as we take the time to carefully rehome thousands of books, periodicals, and archived documents that were moved to protect them from construction. 

Doing research and know what items you want to consult? Please contact Librarian Terri Sheridan at or 805-682-4711 ext. 134 to find out if the items in question are available for research by appointment. As many of our collections are still shifting location, please be aware that our capacity to serve is constrained.

About the Library & Archives

Devoted to study in natural history, zoology, the environment, and California Indian culture, the Library—built in 1929—retains the classic charm of an early-twentieth-century reading room.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History - Library


The Museum Library houses research materials appropriate for students, amateur naturalists, and serious scientists. A special children's collection is perfect for reading nature stories out loud or completing school projects.

Rare books in the Museum’s Library feature titles in natural history, zoology, western and Pacific exploration, and Native American culture dating to the 16th century.

Archive collections highlight Santa Barbara’s environmental history, local biological and cultural history, rock art, California Condor preservation, Museum history, 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill, and more.


Reference: 805-682-4711 ext. 135

Terri Sheridan, Museum Librarian and Archive Collection Specialist
805-682-4711 ext. 134